Royal Portrush to host The Open

Royal Portrush will once again be added to The Open Championship rota for the first time in over 50 years.

The men at Royal and Ancient will formally invite the Northern Irish course to join the rota on Tuesday, along with the official announcement of what is going to be changed on the 126 year-old course.

“Royal Portrush is one of the great links courses and we could not be more excited at bringing The Open back to Northern Ireland,” said Peter Unsworth, the chairman of Royal and Ancient’s championship committee.

The Open Championship has not been hosted outside of England or Scotland since 1951. The news has been welcomed by Northern Irishmen and Major winners Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell.

While nothing has been made official, Portrush is expected to host The Open in 2019 after some course changes. The course hosted the Irish Open in 2012 when over 120 000 people came through the gates, but The Open presents a different challenge.

Changes will more than likely include the reconfiguration of the 17th and 18th holes. Firstly, they need to accommodate the grandstands and secondly, the 18th was recently included in Links Golf magazines list of terrible holes on great courses.

Members will be asked to embrace the changes in the lead up to the Championship.